This article attempts to expose and clear away the debris which the law has contributed to our national struggle. Part II analyzes the Supreme Court's view of women and brings to light unacceptable premises about women's moral capacities and reproductive roles which have contaminated public belief and debate. Part III focuses upon the privacy cases to reveal the premises they have adopted. Those premises are dissonant with any intended protections of moral judgment or reservation of decisionmaking power to women. By incorporating these premises, the law of abortion rights has imbedded within itself a conflict with women and disrespect for women's moral judgments. The Conclusion suggests how the unacceptable premises of Supreme Court jurisprudence have contaminated the abortion cases, and led to the current impasse. The faulty premises that have perverted legal analysis must be changed for constructive movement to occur.
With the defective premises exposed, we can reevaluate abortion jurisprudence. The pernicious effects of such unexamined premises can then be understood and repudiated. We can seek and incorporate more helpful and viable premises. With this larger task in mind, I have taken the first steps toward a new premise in this article.
Let us respect our differences and accept the responsibility inherent in our common ground.